Highland Tourism launches Climate Positive Leadership Group

Highland Tourism CIC has announced the inaugural meeting of its Climate Positive Leadership Group (CPLG). It brings together a range of experts and experienced professionals from a variety of backgrounds to identify and realise opportunities for the tourism and renewable energy sectors to work together.

The aim will be to work for a climate positive future across the region and to enable Highland Tourism CIC to realise its vision of a sustainable future for the industry.

Tourism is worth in excess of £1.5bn to the Highlands and it is the backbone of the Highland economy. However, there is a climate emergency and tourism is a major contributor to carbon emissions. In parallel, the Highlands is fast becoming the renewable capital of Europe.

The CPLG will be led by experienced renewable energy expert George Baxter, who is also a director of Highland Tourism.

Mr Baxter said: “Consolidating our ecosystem of renewable energy and tourism  by developing collaboration between the sectors has the potential to create an incredible premium environmental and sustainability brand for the Highlands enhancing our unique and special visitor experiences.

“Renewable energy operators’ positive contributions to the tourism sector are already making headway through community benefit schemes and helping to create a sustainable energy infrastructure that will enrich the visitor experience.

“This group will consider the current baseline of sustainable activity, and the baseline of current tourism industry carbon impacts – and devise ways for both industries to work together both strategically and practically to further the net zero agenda.”

Highland Tourism Co-founder and Chairperson, Yvonne Crook, said: “As an organisation, we continue to go from strength to strength and this development shows our commitment to working with the renewable energy sector. In light of skyrocketing oil and gas prices, this work is even more important, especially in terms of sustainability, net zero targets, and energy security. We want the tourism sector to lead the way on these vital keys to our economy.

“We are delighted that George is able to bring this group together and drive this vital part of our sustainability agenda, and would like to thank the members for their commitment. It will be exciting to see where their important work takes us.”

Members of the group are drawn from a variety of disciplines including tourism, net zero transition, environment, ecology, decarbonisation, communications, renewable energy, and international destination development.

The first meeting took place at the Foundry in Inverness. Future meetings of the CPLG will take place at a variety of venues around the Highlands.